In the Copa America, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi led the Argentine offense to crush their Paraguayan opponents 6-1 in the semifinal stage of the tournament. The win also booked the Albiceleste a ticket to the final on Saturday where they’ll meet tournament hosts, Chile.
With such a powerhouse line-up, Argentina are often criticised on international tournaments as perennial under performers. Much of the criticisms are also pointed towards Messi, who despite being hailed as one of the most talented footballers of all time is still yet to win a title with his national team. But on Tuesday night in Concepcion, Chile they prove everybody wrong by thrashing Paraguay and rewarding themselves another shot to win a major title just less than a year after losing to Germany in the World Cup.
Messi didn’t score a single goal in this match, but his play-making skills played an important part in the goals scored by Rojo, Pastore, Aguero and Higuain. He also assisted Di Maria to score one of his two goals in the match. This is without a doubt, the best performance not just by Messi but by Argentina in this tournament. Before this match, they were only able to score four goals, but in just one night they were able to more than double that tally.
Messi, the playmaker can be more lethal than Messi the goal scorer
The match against Paraguay showed that Messi doesn’t have to be the one who must score goals in order for Argentina to win. He can just act as a playmaker and feed his teammates to score the goals they need. This set-up has proven to be more dangerous than their previous formations where Messi is always at the centre of their attack. The 6-1 humiliation of Paraguay is a big proof to it.
Another chance to finally win an international title
The last time Argentina had a trophy was way back in 1993 when they won the Copa America. With the arrival of Messi and other talented players like Aguero and Di Maria in the squad renewed hopes of ending a long title drought came to emerge. However, the Argentines are still yet to win any silverware after 22 years.
On July 13, last year they played against Germany in the final of the World Cup in Brazil but were frustrated by the Germans after Mario Gotze was able to score a late goal during extra time. Less than a year after that heartbreaking defeat, they’ll have another chance to finally win a trophy. Hopefully, everything will go well again for Argentina on Saturday.